Lyon cruise to first-ever Champions Cup win
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Lyon cruised to their first-ever win in the Champions Cup at Matmut Stadium de Gerland on Saturday after eight successive defeats in the competition.
The Top 14 leaders finally translated their outstanding domestic form onto the European scene, running in four tries against Benetton for a 28-0 win in the first meeting between the clubs to climb off the bottom of Pool One.
Benetton had won only once away to French opposition in the competition and it soon became obvious this wasn’t going to be win no.2, with Lyon fullback Jean-Marcellin Buttin scoring their first try after only two minutes following a scrum deep in the visiting 22.
Five minutes later it was 12-0 to the home team as a poor defensive kick from Benetton allowed Lyon to unleash a devastating counter-attack from just outside their 22, which culminated in centre Charlie Ngatai touching down near the posts. Jonathan Wisniewski converted.
Benetton then rallied but without really threatening the Lyon line and after Wisniewski had kicked a 17th minute penalty, the home side chalked up their third try on 27 minutes when left wing Xavier Mignot rounded off a fine move to dot down in the corner.
That Lyon’s only score after that until the 74th minute was a 67th penalty goal from replacement flyhalf Pato Fernandez was due to a mixture of outstanding Benetton defence and a series of handling errors from the French team.
However, replacement flank Liam Gill ended home frustration by plunging over from a driving line-out wide on the right.
Tries: Buttin, Ngatai, Mignot, Gill
Pens: Wisniewski, Fernandez
For Benetton: None
Yellow card: Marco Barbini (Benetton, 66)
Lyon: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Toby Arnold, 13 Thibaut Regard, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Xavier Mignot, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Baptiste Couilloud (captain), 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Patrick Sobela, 6 Dylan Cretin, 5 Hendrik Roodt, 4 Killian Geraci, 3 Clément Ric, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Raphael Chaume
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Loann Goujon, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Jonathan Pélissié, 22 Pato Fernandez, 23 Rudi Wulf
Benetton: 15 Luca Sperandio, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi (captain), 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Antonio Rizzi, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Toa Halafihi, 7 Giovanni Pettinelli, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolò Cannone, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Federico Zani, 1 Nicola Quaglio
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Eli Snyman, 20 Marco Barbini, 21 Charly Trussardi, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Luca Morisi
Referee: Karl Dickson (England)
Assistant referees: Andrew Jackson (England), Wayne Falla (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)